April 26, 2018

CARTERVILLE — There’s a lot to celebrate during John A. Logan College’s 2018 graduation ceremonies set for May 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. inside the Donald L. Brewer Gymnasium.

Tori Ladd of Johnston City will be the featured student speaker on May 10. Samuel Ramirez of Chicago Heights will be the featured student speaker on May 11.

Ladd is receiving an associate in applied science in cosmetology and an associate of arts degree. She is a longstanding member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, serving as chapter president and president of the Illinois Region.

Ladd is passionate about ensuring that vocational students at community colleges nationwide have access to industry-specific, high-quality professional development opportunities and programs.

Ramirez applied to the SI Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program which allowed him to pursue research opportunity in plant biology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After developing an intense interest in genetics and molecular biology as a student at John A. Logan College, Ramirez decided that research would be his life’s passion.

In addition to finishing his degree at the College, Ramirez is working in the weed science lab at SIUC to research ways to protect local corn and soybean farmers from invasive weed species. He will enroll at SIUC in the fall and pursue a degree in plant soil and agricultural systems.

Also speaking on both evenings of graduation is Jarrod Echols, the College’s 2018 Alumnus of the Year. Echols has been noted for his work in the White House in the area of cybersecurity. He currently works for one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies.

Donna Ford, biology professor, and Dr. Rupa Chandrashekar, psychology instructor, will also be recognized at both graduation ceremonies. Ford is the College’s 2018 Faculty Member of the Year; while Chandrashekar is the College’s 2018 part-time Faculty Member of the Year.

Both evenings will begin with a processional, “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the John A. Logan College Band and directed by Michael Hanes.

Melanie Pecord, acting vice-president for instruction, will make introductions.

Pastor Toby Robinson of the West Frankfort First Baptist Church will offer the invocation and, later, the benediction.

On May 10, Lucas Morefield of Murphysboro will perform the Star Spangled Banner. On May 11, Hannah Herron of Marion will do the same.

Dr. Ron House, president of John A. Logan College, will then welcome the crowd and graduates.

Following students speakers, the Alumnus of the Year, and the Faculty Members of the Year, Staci Shafer, executive director of the College Foundation, will speak.

Brax Melvin of West Frankfort will then perform the musical selection “Out There” on both evenings.

Following Melvin’s performance, Pecord will offer the certification of John A. Logan College graduates before Dr. House confers degrees and diplomas are presented by members of the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees.

Dr. House will make closing remarks, followed by the benediction and recessional by the John A. Logan College Band.

Charlotte Lewis, Hannah Bullette, and Quincie McFarland will serve as marshals; Cole Smith and Morgan Rich will serve as ushers. Patty Erwin will serve as interpreter.

A photo area will be set up for graduates in the Skylight Lounge on the lower level.